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    Wednesday, August 27, 2008

    Eden Cloakroom to Jimmy Wongs Two Great Auckland Restaurants

    On the last Wednesday of every month, I go with a group of girls for lunch.
    Our aim is to get around as many restaurants as possible.
    The criteria is good food and an opportunity to have a glass of wine
    be it licensed or BYO we don’t mind.
    We have come to a happy compromise with the choice of wine.
    Pinot Gris... that covers the Sav girls and also the Chard girls... everybody's happy.

    This Wednesday was a goodie. On my suggestion we went to Eden Cloakroom in Mt Eden Village. Look here for menus and information

    A couple of weeks ago we went to watch our son Dan who was guest artist with the lovely Adam, Wednesday's the regular entertainer.
    There was a good contingent of Juice TV staff, they love to watch their colleagues entertain and a fun night was on the cards.

    Just a coupe of quotes from Adam and Dan.

    "I have been playing Wednesday nights at the Eden Cloak Room in Mt Eden for the past 36 weeks, or nine months as they say when referring to the standard length of a pregnancy.
    During the past nine months I have seen a unique culture emerge at the Eden Cloak Room.
    On nights that I have been playing, it has been a pleasure to see the whole bar unite and collectively get involved with the live music.
    Better still, it's great to see the friendships that have formed through regular attendance.
    The vibe of the Eden Cloak Room has been well established and is backed up by the positive staff who are my mates and will soon be yours.
    It's a cozy den in the Winter and has a flourishing courtyard in the Summer.
    With great entertainment and food all year round, it's the complete package. Did I mention you can hang your cloak in there?"

    Adam Stevenson
    Singer, Songwriter and Guitarist

    "It's an absolute joy to experience great times and share Live Music with the amazing folk of the Eden Cloak Room - even when I'm playing!
    It's like turning up at someone's house for a sing-a-long with a much bigger fridge.
    And Chips in a Pint. And a Band. Well... two guitars and a microphone. Now that's rock 'n Roll!"

    Dan Wrightson
    Singer, Songwriter and Guitarist

    Dale and I didn’t know what to expect and were pleasantly surprised with the venue.
    What a great little pub. Little being the operative word here.
    Cosy, well decorated. They have one booth that seats probably up to 6-8 .
    A few other tables inside and good seating outside.
    Should be great in the summer, gets all the afternoon sun.

    Love the booth concept.
    In the eighties when lunching was a real art, and almost a career,
    the restaurant with the booths always did really well.
    In fact just as an aside there was a restaurant in Auckland called Napoleon, that had booths... you couldn’t see who was next to you. Lots of interesting liaisons happening there.
    Oh another thing the staff would bring a phone to the table (pre cell phones) so that you could ring friends and invite them to join you.
    This, of course, was when no self respecting person left the table until at least 4.30 and sometimes some of us got through to Dinner.
    The ultimate Lunch experience was what we called the "Trifecta".
    Lunch, Dinner and Breakfast.
    The breakfast would have to be in another restaurant of course.
    I never achieved that. We tried our best though. It was just too hard.
    What happened to those mad people?
    Actually, they got smarter and then unfortunately, older and poorer!

    So back to Eden Cloakroom I had the nicest Osso Bucho I had had in a long time. Tender and delicious. Dale loved his Fish and Chips and the Churros, with hot Chocolate Ganache to dip them in, was an excellent end to the meal, PLUS the music was great as well.
    So I felt good recommending this to the girls.
    I was right once again...we had wonderful food.
    The staff are friendly, attentive and knowledgable.

    Two of us ate Venison Pie with Creamed Spinach
    The venison stew was tasty with addition of little mushrooms, lovely dark gravy
    Pastry top, and a nice surprise, mashed potato immediately under the crust, just perfect to soak up the juices.

    The other two had Sausages and Mash. I had a taste.
    Nice meaty sausages accompanied with sweet and sour red cabbage. Yum.

    Then we had the Churros If you haven't ever eaten these little cinnamon and sugar dusted fritters...Go to the Cloakroom just for that.
    Served with the warm ganache, you dip them in, and if you dare, you take a sip of the Ganache. Dreamy!
    Annette had the Prune & grande cherry pudding served with crema di lemoncello which was citrus flavoured steamed pudding, with marinated prunes and also was wondeful.

    I forgot to mention that we shared a little Beef Sliders starter,
    just because we wanted to taste it.
    Baby Hamburgers...delicious.
    Kiwi touch...beetroot!

    So somewhat overfull, I arrived home to the news that we were invited to join friends for dinner. I floundered, then, what am I doing, of course we will go.
    (Reminds me of the time I momentarily turned down a glass of Dom Perignon,
    but that’s another story)
    By 7.30 there was room in my tummy again. Thank God.
    So off to Jimmy Wongs.
    Relatively new restaurant in Auckland City Lorne Street.

    West East is the description.
    Nice decor, very busy, very welcoming, friendly, and the staff, remembered my friend Laurian from her visit there the previous week.

    Interesting menu, easy for sharing.
    4 Sakes to choose from. The wine list was not big on the Sauv Blanc in fact only one...but as we were driving, and bottles of wine were out of the question, it didn’t matter this time.
    A couple of sakes won’t take you over the limit so that was the choice of the night.

    Actually it was served in little glass shot glasses, very cute.
    So onto the food.
    The ultimate (in my mind) aperitif - Edamame,
    Healthy, salty and enough work sucking those little soy beans out of their pods, to keep you busy, whilst awaiting your first course.

    We had Scallops steamed with Lime and Pickled Ginger.
    Its the beginning of the scallop season and they were quite tiny and
    almost didn’t need the ginger.
    They were very sweet and really needed very little embellishment.
    But delightful.

    Crab dumplings were next. I love dumplings and this were like pot-stickers. Very good

    Then Crispy Duck Spring Rolls with Baby Cos to wrap them in. Very good.

    Prawn Cakes, these were deep fried balls, and I think the coating rather overwhelmed the flavour of the prawns but they were tasty.

    Coconut Fried Prawns. Great - Should have ordered more of them
    Stir Fried Beef with lemon grass
    and a bowl of Jasmine Rice for the table. very good.
    All in all we liked the place very much. Could be on the cards for the girls next month.

    Sunday, August 24, 2008

    It’s Official I am the Leftover Queen.

    It’s official I am the Leftover Queen. Move over Jenn. Look at her web site here
    I rather overdid the amount of meatballs in the Tyler Florence Spag and Meatball recipe (look in my previous blog.) So…there were a lot of leftovers.

    Lunch on Saturday
    I popped 8 or so of them into a casserole with the remainder of the spaghetti and sauce and added a slosh of beef stock.
    Covered it with grated cheese and baked in 180C oven about 25 minutes just enough to heat through and melt the cheese.

    Very tasty. There was still more meatballs left so they went into the freezer.
    There is more to come keep reading.
    These next two recipes I thought would sit well in Ruth's Presto Pasta Nights event that she holds every week. This week PPN is hosted by Abby of Eat the Right Stuff have a look at her site
    She has the round up. Loads of excellent pasta dishes from all over the world.

    I have been reading “Angela Hartnett’s Cucina” she’s so inspirational.
    She has been on Food TV quite a lot lately. Looks like a warm and friendly lady.
    One of Britain’s Michelin Star Chefs, trained by Gordon Ramsay, she runs The Connaught Hotel and Dining Room receiving her 1st Michelin Star in her first year.
    Pretty outstanding. This cookbook is about her Italian roots.
    Inspired by her family. It is an excellent book and I thought it was about time
    I made some pasta, It’s been a while since I last attempted pasta. I borrowed my daughter Katie’s pasta machine quite a while ago and it has been down in the laundry hiding away.
    I always have Italian 00 flour in the pantry to use for bread and it is also the flour necessary for good homemade pasta.

    I used Angela’s recipe below (I only used half the ingredients seeing as there is only the two of us)

    400gms 00 pasta flour
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    4 eggs

    1 tablespoon olive oil

    Mix the flour and salt together and tip onto a your bench.
    Make a well in the centre.

    Mix together the eggs and oil and pour 2/3 thirds into the well reserving the rest
    Start from the outside work the flour onto the liquid until a dough forms
    The dough is conditioned by it
    S environment, so depending on the warmth of you kitchen and hands you may need to the remaining egg mixture if the dough doesn’t come together.
    I certainly had to add the extra.
    Knead until it is smooth and firm and elastic (this will take 5-10 minutes)
    Wrap in cling film and rest in the fridge for 1 hour before using.
    The dough will keep for up to 24 hours in the fridge wrapped tightly,in cling wrap.
    It was very successful. Very smooth and lovely in the mouth.
    I will make it again. Just hope the pasta machine doesn’t have to go back. Mind you I could always buy one!

    I decided to make ravioli.
    I had some lovely fresh ricotta made by Zany Zeus
    This is delicious, the company comes from Wellington and I source this product at my local greengrocer/deli in Gladstone Rd, Parnell F.A.V. They have an excellent selection of deli foods.
    It is hard to get nice ricotta, and I highly recommend this if you can find it.
    Nice little filling
    Once again Leeks and Parmesan.
    Slice 1 x leek finely
    Sauté in a little olive oil
    Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    Add to 1/2 cup ricotta
    2-3 tablespoon finely grated Parmesan
    Mix well.

    Take pasta from fridge and cut off a block
    Flatten with your hand and run it through the pasta machine
    Start on the widest setting
    Run it through twice
    Rub with flour if it gets too sticky
    Reduce the size of the notch and continue to run it through
    the machine till you get to the narrowest notch.

    When it rolled to the thickness you require
    Lay on bench place little spoonfuls onto the sheet
    Brush around each blob of filling with egg wash so that the top sheet will stick

    Cover with the 2nd sheet
    Cut out with your favourite cutter

    Press around the edge to seal and remove any air bubbles.

    When completed prepare to cook
    Bring a big pot of salted water to the boil – allow 1 tablespoon salt per large pan water
    Add a dash of oil to help it from sticking to one another.
    Lower the past into the boiling water stir immediately and then leave it alone
    Always cook it till it becomes al dente. Only a few minutes.
    Drain it well.

    Don’t rinse it at all this will wash off the starch, which is what you need for the sauce and the pasta to amalgamate.

    I would normally make a hot sage butter sauce to serve with this
    Good grind of freshly ground black pepper on top and
    Grate a little Parmesan.
    BUT this night I served it as an accompaniment to a little roast rump of lamb.
    I used to juices of the lamb to drizzle over the pasta.
    Little unconventional but we liked it.

    Now back to the leftovers.
    Of course I had too much pasta and too much filling so they went into the fridge till the next day.
    Guess what there was also the leftover meatballs.
    Lasagna sprung to mind. Layered with tomato and meat sauce and ricotta leeks and cheese.
    Covered with a ricotta and cheese topping.
    Very nice.

    Tomato Sauce
    1 tablespoon olive oil 1 onion finely chopped 1 can tomatoes 1 clove garlic crushed and chopped White wine Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 6 leftover meatballs broken up and mashed with a fork to resemble friend hamburger mince

    Sauté onion in olive oil until softened
    Add tomatoes and garlic
    Mash down to break up tomatoes
    Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper
    Add slosh of white wine
    Boil for a couple of minutes
    Add meat
    Mix well and simmer till reduced about 15 minutes.
    Ricotta Layer 1
    You will need about 1 cup
    Take ricotta leek and cheese mix Add 1 egg and mix well.

    There was of course plain ricotta left over in the fridge
    Ricotta Layer 2 1cup ricotta 1 egg beaten 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese 1/4 cup grated Parmesan Freshly ground black pepper
    Probably won’t need salt as the cheeses are quite salty
    Mix well together

    Now to assemble
    Grease a gratin dish
    Add 1 layer pasta
    Spread with 1/2 tomato/meat mixture
    More pasta

    Ricotta layer 1 Pasta

    Rest of meat mix
    To top it - Ricotta layer 2
    Into pre-heated180C oven
    Bake about 30-40 minutes
    The egg will make the top puff up and look gorgeous

    It was really good
    Of course even better the next day.
    More Leftovers!!!

    Tuesday, August 19, 2008

    A Winters Night Dinner Party

    It’s been a long wet winter so far.
    Actually we have such short memories, we had a wonderful summer that went well into May
    BUT what do we all remember...just the rain. That’s human nature I guess.

    Anyway it was time for a nice comfort food dinner.
    Let’s start with Tuna Cappaccio
    I have seen this a lot on Food Channel and it has always appealed to me.
    Tuna rolled in lime zest and coriander served with a tangy Asian dressing.

    You will need
    700gm tuna cut into barrels
    Juice and zest of 4 limes reserve juice for dressing
    Good pinch of salt
    1 good handful coriander finely chopped

    Add zest with salt
    Roll tuna in this
    Heat a little oil in hot pan
    Add tuna sear on all sides nice colour
    Remove tuna and drain
    Roll in chopped coriander
    2 inches grated ginger
    2 cloves crushed garlic
    2 tablespoons teriyaki marinade
    8 tablespoons oil
    1 handful coriander chopped

    I actually over salted the tuna so it wasn't perfect this time but I will make it again.
    Good starter for a heavy dinner.

    I also made a nice little colourful crisp salad
    As an accompaniment Use your own amounts

    Baby Cos lettuce torn in pieces
    Radish sliced
    Cucumber seeds removed and sliced
    Cherry tomatoes cut in half
    Papaya deseeded peeled and cubed
    Chives chopped

    1 part lemon juice
    3 parts extra virgin olive oil
    1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    Give it a good shake and dress the salad.
    Very refreshing.

    So to the more heavy part of the meal
    This is a recipe from Tyler Florence‘s Ultimate TV series
    The Ultimate Spaghetti and Meatballs
    Another entry for Ruth's Presto Pasta Nights
    If you ever are short of an idea every week, people from all around the world
    post their recipe of the week.
    More Pasta than you could shake a stick at.
    Have a look here.

    This was very good. Excellent meatballs
    There are a few stages in preparation but you can make it earlier in the day
    Then, it doesn’t take long while your guests are chatting over pre-dinner drinks.
    Just heat up the meat balls and cook the spaghetti.
    NB: You don't have to have the pork but the fatty meat helps to keep the meatballs moist.

    Stage 1

    The Meatballs

    Extra-virgin olive oil
    1 med onion finely chopped
    2 garlic cloves, smashed
    2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh parsley leaves

    1 cup milk
    4 thick slices firm white bread, crust removed

    750gms ground beef
    250gms ground pork or veal
    1 large egg
    1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving
    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    Olive oil for frying the meatballs

    4 cups Pomodoro Sauce (Stage 2)

    250gms mozzarella cheese, cut into chunks
    Leaves from 3 sprigs fresh basil

    Heat 3 tablespoons oil in an ovenproof skillet over medium heat.
    Add the onion, garlic, and parsley and cook until the vegetables are soft but still translucent, about 10 minutes.
    Take the pan off the heat and let cool.
    (Hang onto the pan - you'll need it to cook the meatballs.)

    Pour enough milk over the bread in a bowl to moisten and let it soak while the onions are cooling. Combine the meats in a large bowl.
    Add the egg and Parmigiano and season generously with salt and pepper.
    Use your hands to squeeze the excess milk out of the bread and add that to the bowl along with the cooled onion mixture.

    Gently combine all the ingredients with your hands or with a spoon until just mixed together. Don't overwork or the meatballs will be tough.
    I got about 27 meatballs out of this mix.

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
    Heat a 3-count of oil in the frying pan over medium heat and brown the meatballs on all sides, about 10 minutes.
    Put them into a baking dish and spoon about half of the tomato sauce over.
    Shower with the mozzarella and drizzle with olive oil.
    Put the meatballs in the oven and bake until they are cooked through, about 15 minutes.

    The Pomodoro Sauce:
    1/2-cup extra-virgin olive oil
    1 medium onion, chopped
    3 garlic cloves, chopped
    3 x 450gm cans whole peeled tomatoes, drained and crushed by hand, liquid reserved
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces

    Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat.
    Add the onion and garlic and cook until the vegetables are soft, 4 to 5 minutes.
    Carefully add the tomatoes (nothing splashes like tomatoes) and then the reserved liquid and season with salt and pepper.
    Cook until the sauce is thick, about 15 minutes.
    Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
    Bring to a boil, stirring for a few minutes with a wooden spoon to further break up the tomatoes. Reduce the heat and let simmer for 20 to 25 minutes.
    Stir in the fresh basil and season again.
    Yield: 4 cups

    100gms spaghetti per person

    If have prepared the meatballs earlier in the day they will take more like 30 minutes rather than 15 as above.

    So to finish off
    Cook the spaghetti in the boiling water until al dente, about 8 minutes.
    Drain and put it onto a large serving platter.
    Pour on the rest of the hot tomato sauce and mix well.
    Spoon the meatballs on top of the spaghetti and garnish with basil leaves.

    Now Paula Deen the Queen of Calories demonstrated this delicious dessert.
    It really is wonderful. Imagine Hot blueberry compote,…little surprise dumplings and beautiful thick cream drizzling all over it.

    I serve it with 50% Crème Fraiche and Marscapone Cheese mixed together

    Blueberry Dumplings
    1 cup all-purpose flour
    1 tablespoon sugar, plus 1 1/2 cups
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    Pinch salt
    1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
    1/4 cup milk

    1 quart fresh or frozen blueberries
    2 cups water
    Vanilla ice cream or fresh cream, for serving

    Stir flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, baking powder, and salt together into a medium bowl.
    Cut butter into dry ingredients, using a pastry cutter or fork.
    Add milk to form dough.
    Set dumpling dough aside.

    In a large saucepan, combine berries, 1 1/2 cups sugar, and water and bring to a boil.
    Drop dumplings into hot boiling berries by the tablespoonful.
    Cover pot, reduce heat to low, and cook slowly for 20 to 30 minutes.
    Do not remove the lid before 20 minutes has passed, and do not stir dumplings.
    Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or fresh cream

    I made the dumpling dough in the food processor, to the breadcrumb stage, and covered it with Gladwrap popped into the fridge until I was ready to serve dessert.
    Added the milk and dropped the dumplings in as per recipe.
    They were fine and made it easier as a hostess.
    More time to spend with your guests.
    Isn’t that what it is all about?

    And to finish off some chocolate dipped apricots and my favourite...chocolate ginger.
    Some healthy fruit with that last glass of wine.

    Sunday, August 17, 2008

    Colourful Food...Beef with Kumara Mash and Prawn Chowder

    I think I have mentioned before how much I like leeks. They taste good and are so pretty.
    It’s winter and I am thinking of comfort food everyday Pity about low cal diet food. In my mind it doesn’t exist.

    So I devised this delicious casserole and took advantage of the colourful leeks and peppers. Not only does it look good but it tasted divine.

    The kumara mash absorbed all the gravy, and this is one excellent meal for those cold winter nights. Elegant enough for a dinner party, but just as good cuddled up in front of the TV.
    Don’t forget to season each layer as you go, it really does make a difference to the end product. Don’t overdo it though.

    Heat oven 175C

    Then you will need
    I tablespoon olive oil
    1 carrot finely chopped
    1 onion chopped
    1 stalk celery finely chopped
    1 clove garlic finely chopped

    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    I tablespoon olive oil

    500 gms blade steak cubed

    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    White wine

    2 tablespoons butter
    2 tablespoons flour
    1 litre beef stock
    Worcester sauce
    Large sprig parsley 2-3 sprigs thyme 1 bayleaf


    2 tablespoons olive oil

    2 leeks finely sliced

    1 red pepper finely sliced

    1 chili, seeds and all chopped

    1 large or 2 med kumara (sweet potato)

    2 cloves garlic 2 tablespoon chopped parsley
    Butter large knob

    In a pan gently sauté the carrot, onion garlic and celery in olive oil till soft. Don’t brown.
    Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    Remove and place in casserole dish

    Wipe the pan and add another tablespoon olive oil
    Apply high heat add beef and sear all over till golden brown
    Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper
    If you can’t do in one layer fry in stages. We don't want to stew it yet.

    Add meat to casserole dish
    Deglaze pan with good slosh of white wine and pour over meat and vege.

    Then melt 2 tablespoons butter
    Add flour cook for a few minutes to cook out the flour taste.
    Add parsley, thyme and bayleaf
    Add beef stock bring to boil stirring all the while so there are no lumps.

    A good dash Worcestershire sauce
    Check seasoning and adjust if necessary.

    Cover contents of casserole dish add some more stock or water so that meat is just covered.
    Into oven cook about 2 hours or till meat is tender.
    While this is bubbling away make the garnish.

    Gently sauté leeks in olive oil
    Add red pepper and chili
    Once again don’t brown looking for bright colour here.

    This should only take 4-5 minutes.


    Cook kumara with garlic
    When fork soft, drain.
    Add large knob of butter and mash
    Then add chopped parsley

    When beef is ready remove herbs
    Add leek mixture mix well
    Serve with mash
    Just had to pop the photo in again to remind you how good it looks.

    More Comfort Food
    Prawn Chowder

    2 tablespoons butter
    1 onion finely chopped
    1 potato med finely chopped
    1 small carrot finely chopped
    Sea salt and white pepper
    White wine 100 mls


    1 cup corn kernels I used frozen
    600 mls milk
    200 gms prawns shelled, deveined and chopped
    2 tablespoons chopped parsley
    2 tablespoons grated cheese

    3 prawns per person
    Lime juice
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    Olive oil

    The Soup
    Saute onion in butter
    Add carrot toss
    Then potatoes toss
    Add wine and seasoning
    Evaporate wine

    Add enough water just to cover and simmer till potatoes and carrots are tender.

    While this is happening
    Prepare the garnish

    Marinate garnish in lime juice, oil and S & P for a few minutes
    Place in steamer.
    Pop steamer over the vege
    Nothing like a little multi tasking!
    This will take about 7-8 minutes
    Set the prawns aside

    Back to the soup.
    Make sure the vege are fork tender
    Add chopped prawns and corn kernels
    Stir well
    Add milk and gently bring just to the simmer.
    Turn off heat
    Let sit about 15 minutes for the flavours to meld.

    Just before serving
    Bring back to simmer
    Add grated cheese and parsley
    Garnish with steamed prawns
    Doesn't that look pretty as well!

    Tuesday, August 05, 2008

    Tasty Savories and More Baked Pasta

    It seems that I have been cooking for days.
    There was the 1st Birthday party for our baby Cleo (on the previous blog).
    I got my trusty kitchen helper Mary…
    (seen here having a terrible time at the RCYC Occajun, she’s 2nd on the right)
    cooking up the fillings for some lovely little bread cases I made out of one of my Cajun Bibles,  
    Terry Thompson’s “Cajun-Creole Cooking”.

    I have just checked out and you can buy Terry’s book from them.

    Anyhow here is the recipe, no question the yummiest little savories I’ve had for a while.
    You don’t have to use the expensive oysters, so it’s a budget recipe.

    First make the patty cases.
    These are the best ones I have ever made.
    You must use the (as we call it) "plastic" white sandwich bread.
    You know that soft white bread that the food police say “DON’T EAT”…
    I have to say when one has a hangover, a little sandwich made from this bread, maybe bacon and mashed egg, is just the ticket.

    So cut the crusts off and roll the bread both ways
    Cut out shapes with a pastry cutter.
    I used these mini muffin tins. I got 2 rounds per slice of bread.
    Butter the muffin tins and carefully press the bread rounds in.
    Bake 200C for 10 minutes. You can keep them in an airtight container for a few days or they will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.

    Now for the fillings

    First Oyster
    ¼ cup unsalted butter
    4 green (spring) onions finely minced
    1 small celery stick minced
    ½ small green or red bell pepper minced
    1 small onion minced
    ¼ cup plain flour
    A 1dozen punnet of oysters with their liquor
    Finely chopped, liquor reserved.
    1 bay leaf
    ¼ cup finely chopped parsley
    ¼ teaspoon cayenne freshly ground black pepper
    ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    Sea salt
    24 Patty cases
    Thyme sprigs
    Bell pepper strips

    Zest of 1 small lemon and 1 tablespoon juice

    Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat
    Add green onions, celery, bell pepper and onion
    Saute till vegetables wilt about 5 minutes
    Stir in flour
    Cook stirring 2-3 minutes
    Put oyster liquor in measuring cup, make up to 200mls with milk
    Add to vege mixture along with oysters, spices and herbs
    Add lemon zest and juice 

    Combine well and bring to boil,
    Reduce heat, simmer until thickened, 3-4 minutes
    If mixture too thick add a little extra milk.

    Preheat oven to 175C
    Place patty shells on baking tray
    Fill with cooled oyster mixture

    Cook about 10 minutes till mixture bubbles.
    Decorate with bell pepper and a little sprig thyme

    Serve at once.
    And if you don’t like oysters “I challenge you not to like these”
    Here is a Mushroom Filling.
    ¼ cup unsalted butter
    4 green onions chopped
    2 tablespoons minced parsley
    2 tablespoons minced chives
    250 gm mushrooms finely chopped
    3 tablespoons flour
    ¾ cup cream
    ¼ teaspoon dried thyme or 1 teaspoon fresh thyme finely chopped
    ¼ teaspoon cayenne
    1 ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    Sea salt
    1 tablespoons lemon juice
    24 baked Patty Shells
    Grated Parmesan Cheese.
    2 tablespoons butter at room temperature

    Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat
    Add green onions parsley and chives
    Cook until wilted about 3 minutes
    Add mushrooms
    Cook 10 minutes, or until liquid evaporates.
    Sprinkle flour over mixture, stir till blended
    Cook 2 minutes stirring it will be dry be careful it doesn’t stick to pan.
    Stir in cream, thyme cayenne freshly ground black pepper, salt and lemon juice.
    Reduce heat to low cook 5 minutes or until thickened.

    Preheat over to 175C
    Place patty pans on baking tray and fill with cooled mixture.
    Top with a little Parmesan cheese and ¼ teaspoon butter

    Bake about 10 minutes until mixture is bubbling

    Just a quick aside I am looking after our eldest grandchildren Sophia and Joseph and I had to leave some food for my husband while I went off to stay at their house.
    Once again, pantry and freezer cooking.

    Following a theme here is another Baked Pasta recipe which I am going to enter into the

    Presto Pasta Nights hosted this week by Michelle from Greedy Gourmet
    Another yummy Pasta bake
    Tuna and Tomato Spaghettini Bake

    200 gms spaghettini
    (I used this as it was in the pantry you could use any pasta)
    2 tablespoons butter
    1 onion finely chopped
    1 chili finely chopped
    1 stick celery finely chopped
    1 doz cherry tomatoes
    Slosh white wine
    Sea salt and pepper

    2 tablespoons flour
    1 cup milk

    1 tin tuna
    Chopped parsley
    Grated cheese.

    Melt the butter
    Add onions chili and celery and soften
    Add tomatoes
    Season to taste
    Add flour
    Cook for a few minutes to get rid of the flour taste.
    Add white wine
    Stir in well and cook for a couple more minutes
    Add milk and stir till smooth
    Cook for about 5 minutes
    If it looks too thick add some more milk
    Add tuna, chopped parsley
    Add spaghettini
    Mix well

    Pour into ovenproof dish and cover with grated cheese
    Cook 190C about 25 minutes till golden and bubbly.

    Quick, easy and delicious

    Hey this weekend on Disney Channel was the TV Premier of

    Hannah Montana/Mylie Styrus, Best of Both Worlds Concert in 3D.

    The kids had KFC take out (a treat) and sat down to watch the movie.

    Isn’t that cute they look like aliens. They loved it. Danced and sang
    PS Took the 2 eldest grandchildren to Mamma Mia that morning. They loved it.
    So did I…my 2nd visit, it's fabulous.

    Sunday, August 03, 2008

    The CVE Band at The Royal Cajun Yacht Club Occajun

    Thank You for the Music.

    The Royal Cajun Yacht Club has its 5th Famous Occajun last week.
    It was a scene of great frivolity.

    All members are Commodores and the Mission Statement is “Eat, Drink, Sing, Dance and Make Merry”.
    On arrival everyone is given a nice strong margarita, which works really well.
    There was a great variety of music
    Commodore John Hank B Morton giving us his take on the Shadows.


    Our Leader Dale and Comm. Craig, ably accompanied by Comm. Steve on bongos…entertained with their repertoire of Kingston Trio, Bud Travis a little Eagles, and some guitar expertise with Concierta de Aranjuez.
    The mood changed as Commodore Jeannie joined them on stage, with her rendition of Harry Chapin’s Classic ,“Taxi”
    Next was Jonny Love with Gemma bringing a younger and more contemporary sound

    You read about Jonny on his Facebook Page.

    The RCYC band “29 Old Girls Called Sharon” brought more old classics.
    The Crown Went Wild
    Then there was a treat
    The CVE Band followedand you couldn’t keep those Commodores off the floor

    Oh What A Night

    After a long night the CVE Band prepared themselves for their next gig in the studio recording their first album.

    The called on So Simple Food to cater. There’s a family connection you know!

    I really liked the thought of Anali’s Chocolate scones Look at her site here
    This was my version
    1/3 cup butter
    ½ cup milk
    1 egg
    1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
    ¼ cup cocoa powder
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
    dash of salt
    ½ cup sultanas

    Melt butter
    Add sugar, egg, milk, and vanilla extract.
    Add chocolate chips, sultanas, salt, and baking powder.
    Stir well and add flour.
    Combine well. Turn dough onto a baking sheet.
    Press dough together with your hands and work into a circle.
    Cut the dough into eight pieces.

    Bake at 210C for about 20 minutes or until lightly browned.

    I also made some savoury scones, and then to tide them over during the night...
    Muffaletta based on the very famous sandwich from New Orleans
    Parmesan and Pesto Scones
    4 cups self-raising flour
    Pinch salt
    2 tbs grated parmesan
    1 tbs prepared pesto
    300 ml cream
    300 ml soda water
    To make Scones
    Heat oven to 215C (fan bake)Sift flour and salt into bowl
    Add pesto and parmesan and rub in with finger tips.
    Add cream and soda water all at once
    This dough is fairly wet but don’t worry
    Flour your bench well
    Turn out the dough and gently knead into a square shape about 2 cms (1") thick
    Cut into shapes and cook about 18 minutes.
    They will be nice and golden brown.
    Serve with cream cheese and a slice of tomato.Or avocado and tomato seasoned with sea salt & freshly ground black pepper is pretty great
    For the Muffaletta you need a good olive salad

    This is from Terry Thompson "Cajun-Creole Cooking"

    450 gms green pimento stuffed olives
    3 garlic coves minced
    115 gms marinated cocktail onions drained and chopped
    2 celery stalks halved lengthwise, thinly sliced
    1 tablespoon chopped capers
    1 tablespoon dried oregano
    1 teaspoon freshly ground black freshly ground black pepper
    1 ½ tablespoons red wine vinegar
    1/4cup olive oil

    Drain olives reserve any brine and chop
    Add garlic, onions, celery, capers

    In a small bowl whisk 1 ½ tablespoons reserved brine, oregano, freshly ground black pepper and vinegar till combined.

    Add olive oil in a slow steady stream whisking constantly.
    Pour dressing over salad
    Spoon into a jar with a tight fitting lid
    Refrigerate. This will keep for up to 3 weeks.

    Serve at room temperature.

    Cut 1 Turkish pide bread in half horizontally
    Cover bottom half with olive salad
    Layer up salami, shaved ham
    Sliced cheese

    Drizzle top of bread with some extra virgin olive oil
    Place on top and it pays to wrap in plastic wrap and weight for at least 2 hours.
    Slice and serve

    The CVE band in recording mode.

    The Album will be on-line in the near future.